I hope you and your family are enjoying these summer days with family and friends. Though all of our schedules are a bit different over these months, our church family is continuing to dream God-sized dreams for our church and our shared ministries. One of the outcomes of our recent season of discernment was a special kick-off that took place on Sunday, July 20th as we celebrated Christmas in July with the theme “Better to give than to receive.”
As in previous years, we had a tree with names of our shut-ins on it that you were invited to come and take as a commitment to go, visit, pray, and do something nice for that person to let them know they are loved and prayed for by our congregation. Over 50 names were on the tree and all were taken, and quickly! Something as simple as a phone call, visit, or a small gift reminds these members of our church family that they are still remembered and cared for even when they can’t physically attend worship on a regular basis.
In addition to this invitation, our Stewardship Team also issued a BOLD CHALLENGE on this same Sunday. Their GOD-SIZED vision is to launch an initiative to retire our remaining debt on property on or before December 25th of this year. We hope to receive congregational contributions and/or pledges by September 28th, the date for this year’s Homecoming Celebration. This goal would be considered “second mile” giving, over and above our regular tithes and offerings. How much is our current indebtedness? We started with a June balance of $70,547.
Now some might wonder what: is so exciting about retiring debt, right? For those who are not enthused, let me share a few things that might change your mind:
- Paying off our debt will free up approximately $30,000 dollars a year in our ministry budget for other GOD-SIZED dreams that have emerged from our season of discernment regarding both ministry programs and facility upgrades and additions.
- This bold step is just one step towards a larger vision for 2015, 2016, and beyond, enabling us to do more for Christ in our community.
- This coming Advent/Christmas, we will be starting a new series titled “Christmas is not Your Birthday.” What better way to emphasize this truth than by giving in a way that enables us to do more and be better stewards of God’s resources at the same time!
Is such a goal even possible? Some might say it would take a miracle, but the good news is that God is in the miracle business. Will you prayerfully consider joining us as we seek to give God’s church a GOD-sized gift this year?
Praying, Dreaming, and Giving with you in Jesus’ name,
***Below is a fundraising thermometer to keep track of our progress. I will seek to update it periodically as we continue to receive gifts/donations. As of July 24th, we are already ready to pay down $8,871 towards our goal! (We will be retiring the debt as we go, so that we compound your generosity as we reduce finance charges on principal).
***As of August 9th, we are now up to $13,322 towards our goal! This means we only have $57,225 to go!
****As of September 13th, we only have $40,217.57 to go!